- Amazon will allow employees to take longer leaves of absence before pausing their stock vesting schedules, in addition to other changes.
- The changes are intended to “make every day better for employees,” according to an internal memo.
- Amazon is facing an exodus of top talent amid rising concerns over low compensation.
Amazon has changed some of its policies around employees’ stock grants amid growing complaints about low compensation and an exodus of top talent from the company. These changes were announced Monday in an internal memo that was viewed by Insider.
The changes outlined in the memo affect how the company distributes restricted stock options to employees, as well as their vesting schedule. Last week, Insider reported that Amazon was considering a change to how it distributed stock to top employees to stem its high attrition.
Amazon will allow employees to take longer leaves of absence before pausing their stock vesting schedules, according to the memo. Previously, Amazon had paused stock vesting if employees took longer than two weeks off — even during paid parental leave and medical leaves of absence. Restricted stock units form the bulk of many corporate Amazon employees’ compensation, meaning that taking a leave of more than two weeks could seriously affect some workers’ cash flow.
Amazon will also give employees the option to trade fractional shares and accelerate vesting schedules for employees’ beneficiaries in the event an employee dies.
The changes “are part of our work to make every day better for employees by listening to your feedback and making changes,” the memo read.
Amazon has in recent months been discussing a slate of possible changes to compensation to retain top employees. Insiders have described an attrition crisis at the company, with executives and engineers leaving Amazon in droves over pay and culture issues.
It’s not clear whether the relatively incremental changes to stock vesting announced Monday, though, will alleviate those concerns. In the company’s internal sentiment survey last year, nearly half of all employees who were considering changing jobs said low base pay, which Amazon caps at $160,000 in most locations, was among the reasons they were considering a move. Only 24% said they were looking for a new job because of concerns over their stock vest timeline.
In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson disputed that the company is facing high attrition and said that average retention rates have not changed substantially in the past two years.
Do you work at Amazon? Contact reporter Katherine Long via encrypted messaging apps Signal/Telegram (+1-206-375-9280) or email (email@example.com). Check out Insider’s source guide for other tips on sharing information securely.